foresters of the British Columbia province have waged a long battle with environmental groups, but the industry has been warned it must accept independent certification of their environmental practices or lose markets. Greenpeace and other environmentalist have demanded that producers use an independent non-profit organisation, the Forest Stewardship Council ( fsc ), to certify that companies are using sustainable forestry methods.
British Columbia's lumber and paper companies are expected to post an after-tax loss of us $1 billion in 1998, the accounting firm Pricewaterhouse Coopers predicted. Although about half of that loss was attributed to write-downs, every market sector except newsprint suffered losses, with problems especially acute in the pulp market, according to the firm.
"Preliminary results indicate that 1998 will return the largest financial losses in the history of British Columbia's forest sector," said Pricewaterhouse Coopers partner Mike MacCallum. He warned the outlook for operating profits 1999 was not much brighter than 1998 although write-downs were expected to have less of an impact on earnings.
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